The Hustle by Doug Merlino
One Team and Ten Lives in Black and White

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Synopsis


The experiment was dreamed up by two fathers, one white, one black. What
would happen, they wondered, if they mixed white players from an elite Seattle
private school - famous for alums such as Microsoft's Bill Gates - and black
kids from the inner city on a basketball team? Wouldn't exposure to privilege
give the black kids a chance at better opportunities? Wouldn't it open the eyes
of the white kids to a different side of life?


The 1986 season would be the laboratory. Out in the real world, hip-hop was
going mainstream, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson ruled the NBA, and Ronald Reagan
was president. In Seattle, the team's season unfolded like a perfectly
scripted sports movie: the ragtag group of boys became friends and gelled
together to win the league championship. The experiment was deemed a
success.


But was it? How did crossing lines of class, race, and wealth affect the
lives of these ten boys? Two decades later, Doug Merlino, who played on the
team, returned to find his teammates. His search ranges from a prison cell to a
hedge fund office, street corners to a shack in rural Oregon, a Pentecostal
church to the records of a brutal murder. The result is a complex, gripping,
and, at times, unsettling story.

An instant classic in the vein of Michael
Apted's Up series, The Hustle tells the stories of ten teammates
set before a background of sweeping social and economic change, capturing the
ways race, money, and opportunity shape our lives. A tale both personal and
public, The Hustle is the story a disparate group of men finding - or not
finding - a place in America
 

About Doug Merlino

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Doug Merlino is a veteran journalist who has written for Wired, Men's Journal, Legal Affairs, and many other publications. He previously lived in Budapest after leaving Seattle. He now lives in New York with his wife.
 
Published December 21, 2010 by Bloomsbury USA. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoors, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Hustle

Kirkus Reviews

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In his debut, journalist Merlino traces the lives of his integrated junior-high basketball team and what happened to the players when the games stopped.

Jan 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Hustle: One Team and Ten ...

Dallas News

In March 1986, seventh-grader Doug Merlino joined an integrated basketball team dreamed up by two men who wanted something special for their sons.

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Hustle: One Team and Ten ...

Portland Book Review

While looking at the history of civil rights, Merlino also looks at the effects and personal struggles of a team of basketball players, allowing us to put faces to the fight in general.

Apr 13 2012 | Read Full Review of The Hustle: One Team and Ten ...

Open Salon

In the late 1980’s, an AAU basketball team of inner-city black kids and white kids from Lakeside Prep, Bill Gates’ alma mater, won the citywide championship.

Mar 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Hustle: One Team and Ten ...

Reader Rating for The Hustle
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